Every market matters

October 8, 2010

A recent Bloomberg article struck me as a stark example of the value — and power — a global brand can wield.

It was about a dusty trading town in the heart of India, Aurangabad. Ignored by many marketers as an unimportant town in an emerging country, Aurangabad proved you don’t have to be a London, or a New York, or a Stockholm to like global brands. This small town saw no reason why they couldn’t have the best the world has to offer.

Imagine Daimler’s surprise when one of their sales people received an order from Aurangabad’s Chamber of Commerce for 115 Mercedes-Benz sedans. The clerk thought it was a prank. It wasn’t.

The lesson? All markets matter — not just the big ones. Even if you’re not in the smaller markets, maintaining brand consistency and reinforcing your global brand promise in every single touch-point is critical: You just don’t know who might be watching.

For both financial and logistical reasons, a company cannot tackle a whole country and all its communities in one shot. At least, not effectively.

That doesn’t mean your brand is not visible throughout a whole country. Don’t leave the door of opportunity open for your competitors. Mid-sized companies, not necessarily willing or able to target the largest cities and well-established markets will find a cornucopia of options in these smaller, emerging markets and cities.

We are shifting from set borders to emerging markets. (Slowly, Africa is becoming the next “big market.”) Making sure there is a uniform and consistent message across all markets will be key in the future success of all global brands.

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